5 Achievements in 5 Years

Celebrate!!! We’re so proud to be celebrating our 5th birthday with you this month. We couldn’t let it slide by without sharing our Top 5 Achievements with you all.

Getting Started

When Emma left her corporate life after almost 15 years at the same company, she wasn’t sure where her path was going to take her. Little did she know what the next 5 years had planned.

It’s no secret that the business didn’t have a plan at the start. It was Emma, helping John with his admin needs at Boatman Financial. Little by little, we started to pick up the odd client here and there and before we realised what was happening, a business was born.  Running a business really pushes you out of your comfort zone.  Emma attended networking meetings to try and meet new people and expand the business – even managed to stand up at one of these events and tell her story.  Anyone that knows Emma knows how much she dreaded doing this!  It was through doing networking that we started to obtain new clients, thick and fast.

Our 60th Client

We’ve just signed our 60th client this month – that’s 60 businesses we’ve helped ease their workload in 5 years. Some of these clients have been for a one off project, other clients have been with us from the very start. We’ve worked with mortgage brokers to mental health therapists, candle makers to vets, doggy day care to copywriters, will writers to chefs…and everything in between!!

It really does highlight that you simply cannot do it all when you run a business.  You can’t be the CEO, the marketing team, the IT helpdesk, customer service, receptionist, administrator and the bookkeeper ALL THE TIME!!!

Working with such a wide range of businesses means that no two days are the same and we’re never sure what’s going to cross our desks each day – which makes it even more interesting.


We’ve stepped forward in the industry and are pleased to say we’ve picked up the following accolades along the way:

  • 2018 – Short listed for VA of the Year, South West region in the VA Awards
  • 2018 – National recognition in the #smallbiz100 awards
  • 2019 – Short listed for VA of the Year, South West region in the VA Awards
  • 2019 – Shortlisted as Female Entrepreneur of the Year in the South West awards
  • 2019 – Finalist in the national VA of the Year awards for PA Life
  • 2020 – Finalist for VA of the Year, South West region in the VA Awards
  • 2020 – National recognition in the #iAlso awards

Again, this leads us onto…

Going to the House of Lords – not once…but TWICE!

Emma…going to the House of Lords?! Who’d have thought it?! It was an honour to attend the Small Business Saturday afternoon tea in 2018 and the F:entrepreneur iAlso breakfast in 2020. The ability to meet 198 other women and men in business from across the UK and discuss the highs and lows of self employment. To have a member of Parliament there to listen to questions about support for us when times are difficult (particularly in recent Covid times) and take these back to the government was incredible.

Our First Associate

It wasn’t until 2020 that we decided to take the plunge and bring our associate, Catherine on board. After doing some market research, we realised that not only were people struggling to keep up with their admin, it was also their bookkeeping that was getting left behind. Emma and Catherine have known each other for a couple of years in the VA world so it seemed like a natural fit. Catherine comes with a wealth of experience gained through years working in an Accounts Office and more recently as a School Bursar.  She will be able to help you keep on top of your finances; processing invoices, paying suppliers, reconciliation, VAT/CIS submissions using QuickBooks, Xero or FreeAgent.

Catherine is on hand for our bookkeeping clients and to assist Emma when demand for work increases. In time, Catherine will have her own bank of clients to look after.


Writing all of that down really does make you think back and feel proud of what’s been achieved.  Has it always been easy?  No.  Has it been worth it – hell yeah!!

Here’s to the next 5 years!!!!




Using a Virtual Assistant – a case study with Reshma Field

If you’re thinking of hiring a Virtual Assistant but are still unsure whether it’s right for your business we’ve written a case study to help better explain.

Reshma Field runs two very different businesses but remains super passionate about both of them.  A former partner at a law firm in Kent plus the head of department advising on Wills, Inheritance Tax, Powers of Attorney and Probate administration she now runs Swindon Will Writing.  In complete contrast, Reshma also runs Ishbel’s Wardrobe, a personal stylist business.

These two businesses couldn’t be more worlds apart but they are equally as busy.

Reshma Field, Ishbels Wardrobe

On top of these two businesses, Reshma is also a busy Mum of two amazing young ladies, has a husband who spends most of the week in London and is a cat and dog mum. Juggling work, family and ‘life’ is tough!

Emma met Reshma a few years ago on the networking scene and got on straight away.

It was in 2018 that Reshma was having some technical issues with her computer and needed to get some draft Wills over to a client urgently so she contacted Emma for help with getting the documents over to the client. It was last minute and late in the day but Reshma was impressed by Emma’s advice, her calmness and the ‘get it done’ attitude.

In 2019, Emma and Reshma’s paths’ crossed again when Emma took advantage of Reshma’s Colour & Style session and then went on a personal shopping trip.  It was during this trip that Reshma and Emma discussed work life balance and how on earth Reshma managed to get everything done whilst remaining professional and business like.  It was clear to both of them that running two businesses on her own was impacting her work life balance and she needed to find a solution.

Reshma needed someone she could trust with the sensitive nature of the Will Writing business whilst also having a bit of creative flair with work for the personal styling business.  After agreeing to meet for a coffee outside of the personal shopping day, it became clear that a virtual assistant was the way to go.

Emma with Reshma Field of Swindon Will Writing & Ishbels Wardrobe and Hadi Brooks of Rays Ice Cream

Needless to say, the work that was passed over to Emma came thick and fast but with no more typing up of meeting minutes, this meant Reshma had more time to get out and see more clients.  Therefor earning more money to cover the outsourcing costs.  The summer of 2020 did not let up in workload for Reshma – you might even go as far as saying there’s nothing like a pandemic to make people stop and think about their future and getting their Wills in place.

In Reshma’s own words…

I can’t imagine life without Emma now!  Taking the plunge to outsource my admin and social media scheduling has freed me up so much.  Emma is worth her weight in gold plus a lot more.  She is meticulous, prompt and so incredibly helpful. My businesses are thriving and I’m getting so much more done and seeing so many more clients because I have the time!  Every small business owner needs Emma in their lives.  Once you see for yourself how great she is, you’ll wonder why you didn’t contact her earlier!

To have an informal chat with me about how Boatman Admin Services might support you and your business, email us at emma@boatmandadmin.co.uk to arrange a free 30 minute consultation.

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